29+ Exciting Podcast Stats You Should Check out in 2021

Are you a fan of podcasts?

Since you’re here, you must be!

And you must be wondering just how big the podcast industry has become. Back in 2006, only 22% of the US adult population were aware of podcasting. Over the years, this figure has been climbing steadily, podcast stats reveal. 

Today, podcasts feature everything from insightful interviews with opinion leaders to university lectures. Additionally, brands use them to build awareness.

Now, let’s shift your attention from listening to reading about the latest exciting podcast facts and trends!

Fascinating Podcast Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • Around 51% of the US population reported having listened to one or more podcasts in the last few months in 2019
  • 75% of Americans aged 12 and over are familiar with the term podcasting.
  • 55% of US consumers have recently tuned in to audio podcasts.
  • Podcast listener numbers show that there were around 88 million US listeners in 2019
  • By 2022, there are going to be 132 million listeners. 
  • According to recent podcast trends, at least 37% of the US population has tuned in to a podcast within the last month. 
  • In 2017, only 40% of Americans aged 12 years or older had tuned in to a podcast. 
  • 82.4% of people listen to podcasts for more than seven hours each week, podcast download stats reveal.
  • There were 550,000 podcasts in 2018

Podcast Statistics for 2021

The Hosting Tribunal crew loves nothing more than fresh data. One of them is that starting your own podcast is easier than ever. Podcast hosting platforms are plentiful and powerful.

Here are more up-to-date podcast facts for you:

1. In 2019, 51% of the US population reported tuning in to podcasts within the past months. 

(Podcast Insights)

Fast forward to 2020, and this figure increased to 55% of the US population who had tuned in to a podcast within the previous few months. Clearly, there’s plenty of room for growth. 

2. As of 2020, 75% of the US population aged 12 and above are aware of podcasting. 

(Statista, Infinite Dial)

While many people today are familiar with podcasting, this massive awareness among the US population is a considerable 30% increase from a decade ago. Not only is awareness and usage steadily increasing, but consumption is also growing. 

This brings us to the next question:

How many people listen to podcasts?

3. 88 million was the estimated podcast audience size in the US in 2019. 

(Statista)

Based on this impressive figure, experts forecast that by 2023, the number of listeners will surpass the 160 million mark. Altogether, the total is set to increase by a massive 20 million each year. 

4. The podcast listenership is expected to grow to 132 million by 2022. 

(Forbes)

As the number of podcast fans keeps growing steadily, experts believe it will move past the 130 million hallmark in 2022.

5. 37% of the US population listened to a podcast within the previous month in 2020.

(Statista)

According to the latest podcast stats, the consumption frequency of podcasts is steadily increasing. At the same time, weekly consumption has also skyrocketed, with some of the leading podcasters enjoying average podcast downloads and unique monthly streams in the millions. 

6. 2017 US podcast statistics showed only 40% of Americans aged 12 and over had listened to a podcast. 

(Convince and Convert)

Although this figure is low compared to the 55% recorded in 2020, it signifies that the number of US listeners is on the rise. 

7. Recent podcast stats reveal that 82.4% of listeners tune in for more than seven hours per week. 

(Discover Pods)

More and more people are becoming avid podcast fans. The 2020 percentage of 82.4% shows a steady increase from 76.8% in 2019 and 66.8% the year before. What’s more, the category of “super-listeners,” who tune in to more than 21 hours of podcasts per week, grew by an astonishing 22.4%

You might be wondering:

How many podcasts are there?

8. There were 550,000 podcasts in 2018.

(Windemere)

To put things in perspective, the number of podcasts grew from 550,000 in 2018 to over 750,000 in 2019. As people are seeking new channels of entertainment and information, podcasts are becoming an increasingly popular option. 

9. According to iTunes podcast statistics, Apple is home to more than 525,000 active podcasting shows

(Fast Company)

Apple podcast stats reveal the platform is a favorite with listeners. It has 525,000 active shows to choose from. Now that you know just how many podcasts are there on iTunes, you might be interested in the number of episodes. 

Check this out:

There are over 18.5 million episodes in more than 100 languages. iTunes podcasts are available internationally in as many as 155 countries worldwide, iTunes podcast download statistics confirm.

10. Pandora is the most popular audio brand in the US, with an awareness of 85% in 2020. 

(Infinite Dial)

Pandora remains the most highly recognized audio brand, although this percentage is down from 89% in 2019. iHeartRadio is second with 73%, Spotify is third with 72%. Finally, Apple Music has 73%, and Spotify has 68%. Besides these notable audio brands, others included in the leading podcast rankings are Google Play All Access, SoundCloud, Radio.com, and Tidal. 

In terms of frequency, podcast research shows that in 2019, 30% of US listeners tuned in to Pandora within the last month. In contrast, 24% tuned in to Spotify.

11. The Joe Rogan Experience is one of the top three most popular podcast channels in the US. 

(Investor Mint)

The most listened to podcasts in the US are The Joe Rogan Experience, The Daily, and This American Life

Here’s the deal:

The Joe Rogan Experience currently earns a whopping $30,000 per episode. However, boosting podcast sales is no easy feat. The channel airs five episodes a week with long-form content. It discusses a range of topics, and the host candidly interviews different guests (comedians, actors, filmmakers, MMA fighters, and authors) for each episode. 

12. Joe Rogan Podcast statistics revealed the podcast is hitting nearly 200 million views on YouTube as of 2020.

(Jre Library)

While the Joe Rogan Experience is one of the most popular podcasts in 2020, the channel did not get there overnight. Due to persistence, hard work, and dedication, the channel was generating 16 million downloads each month by October 2015. Five years later, the channel is reaching a mind-blowing 200 million views on YouTube. 

Podcast Demographics

Have you ever wondered who listens to podcasts? According to podcast listening statistics, the answer is simple – everyone! No matter the age group, no matter the geographic location. Now let’s take a look at some numbers!

13. 40% of podcast listeners are between the ages of 12 and 24. 

(Improve Podcast)

The average age of podcast listeners is 12 to 24. They’re mostly the younger, better educated, and well-off. In terms of annual income, households that earn between $100,000 and $150,000 make up the most considerable portion, 17% of all listeners. An avid podcast listener would spend an average of eight hours per week listening to at least seven different shows

14. Podcast stats show US listeners do 90% of their podcast listening at home. 

(Podcast Hosting)

Podcast USA listening habits show that most listeners in the US enjoy podcasts at home. Next, 64% of listeners tune in to podcasts while driving. 

Why are podcasts so popular

One of the main reasons is that you can listen to them during your daily commute.

Interesting fact:

On average, podcast subscribers in the US subscribe to at least six shows at one time. Popular genres for US listeners include comedy, education, and news. 

15. 65% of listeners in the US listen to podcasts on portable devices, podcast stats reveal.

(Edison Research)

According to a study by Edison Research, nearly two-thirds of podcast consumers in the US tune in on portable devices such as smartphones and tablets. In second place, 25% tune in on their laptops or desktops, and 10% do so via smart speakers. 

Key takeaway:

If you’re thinking about starting a podcast channel, it’s a good idea to launch your podcast on a mobile-optimized platform. As odd as it might seem, too many podcasts are not mobile-friendly.

16. US listeners are 68% more likely to have a postgraduate degree. 

(Music Oomph)

In terms of income, podcast audience statistics confirm that listeners are 45% more likely to have a $250,000 annual household income range, followed by 37% of the $100,000 and above annual income range. Lastly, 32% are from the $75,000 and above annual income range. 

17. 63% of Canadians know the term podcasting.

(Edison Research)

Canadians aren’t too far behind their American neighbors when it comes to podcast awareness. What’s more, at least 36% of listeners have listened to a podcast in the last month, whereas at least 23% have tuned in the past week. 

You might be wondering:

Where do people listen to podcasts

Also, similar to the US, 91% of Canadian listeners consume content at home, podcast user statistics reveal. Next, 35% tune in while driving, and another 24% tune in at work. On average, listeners consume five different shows in a week, driving up podcast subscription numbers considerably.

18. Around 58% of South Koreans tuned in to a podcast within the past month in 2018.

(Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2018)

This is one of the most interesting podcasting facts from recent years.

At this time, South Korea had the highest consumption percentage (58%), followed by Hong Kong with 55%, and Taiwan with 47%. In 2018, the corresponding figure for the US was still fairly low, at 33%. The global average was also at 34%, though, which means the top three podcast consumer countries had significantly above average podcast numbers

19. Podcast popularity and consumption in the UK is comparatively low at 18%.

(The Podcast Host)

The popularity of podcasts in the UK has experienced a slow but steady start. As of 2020, only 18% of Brits older than 15 listened to podcasts as a weekly routine. While this is significantly low compared to the US and Canada, let alone South Korea, it’s a steady increase from 14% in 2019. Still, there’s plenty of room for UK podcasting to grow.

20. Only 35% of listeners finish the entire episode. 

(Podcast Hosting)

45% of listeners tune in to most of the episode, 12% tune in to less than half an episode, and another 5% tune in only at the beginning. 

Podcast Growth

21. The number 1 podcast in the world as of 2020 is The Daily podcast by The New York Times.

(Podtrac)

The Daily discusses the biggest stories of our time, as seen from one of the most popular newspapers in the world. So, it’s no wonder it’s currently the top podcast in the world. It’s hosted by journalist Michael Barbaro, who also brings on some of the best journalists in the world to tell their side of the story. If you tune in to podcasts to stay informed, then you definitely want to give The Daily a listen.

22. Podcast growth statistics for the US reveal an impressive 122% growth since 2014.

(Edison)

The future of podcasting in the US is promising indeed. This growth is attributed to the increase of American listeners under the age of 24

23. Comedy was the most popular podcast genre as of the end of 2019.

(Statista)

Podcast stats from Q3 2019 showed comedy was the most popular podcast genre, with 36% of listeners having tuned in to a podcast in that genre. The second most popular podcast is in the society and culture genre, with around 22% to 23% of listeners having tuned in to one in the previous week. 

24. One of the highest-earning podcasts for 2019 was none other than The Joe Rogan Experience, which generated over $50 million that year.

(Statista)

The Joe Rogan Experience podcast has also held the top place among the highest-earning podcasts in 2018. The channel made $30 million in 2018, and this figure rose to $50 million in 2019. 

25. Spotify plans to spend $500 million on podcast-related acquisitions, Spotify podcast stats reveal.

(The Verge)

Based on the current podcasting statistics, the industry has a promising future. To become the dominant podcast platform, Spotify has set out to create a podcast revolution by acquiring podcast-related ventures such as content studios Gimlet Media and Parcast and a creation app called Anchor. With more than 200 million users worldwide, the current second-most popular podcast platform plans to switch gradually 20% of its content to podcasts. 

Podcast Market Share

26. The top ten most downloaded podcasts include This American Life, Dr. Death, and Serial.

(SamuelThomasDavies)

According to Samuelthomasdavies.com, the top ten most downloaded and most subscribed podcasts of all-time ranked by analytics include podcasts such as S-Town, POD Save America, and TED Talks Daily

27. By 2021, advertising revenue from podcast ads will exceed the $1 billion mark, podcast advertising statistics reveal. 

(eMarketer)

In 2018, around $479 million was spent on podcast ads. These ads were mostly related to podcast genres, including news, comedy, entertainment, education, and business. Marketers predict that this figure will double by 2021, surpassing the $1 billion mark. 

28. 78% of listeners do not mind advertisements while listening to podcasts. 

(WARC, Edison Research)

Adblocking doesn’t seem to be necessary, as the vast majority of listeners don’t mind ads. This is due to the unique relationship between the host and the audience. After all, listeners tend to trust the host’s recommendations, with podcast ratings in 2020 on the rise. Specifically, more than half (55%) said they either “sometimes” or “always” take note of ads that appear on podcasts. 

29. Podcast analytics show that there is a 14% rise in purchase intent during advertisements on business podcasts. 

(Call For Content)

Customer behavior to advertisements on podcasts seems to vary by genre. In society and culture podcasts, there is a 9.2% rise in purchase intent. For news and politics podcasts, we can see a 12.8% lift. After that, the purchase intent for comedy podcasts sees a 7.3% lift, while the corresponding figure for sports podcasts is 9.3%

30. By 2022, the podcast market share of all audio ad spend types is expected to climb to 4.5%.

(WARC)

The podcast industry has been expanding steadily. So, it should come as no surprise that the audio add spending market share will also be up from 1.9% in 2018. Podcast fans are more willing to consider buying things they have learned about during a podcast. 

Conclusion

Worldwide podcast stats paint a promising future for this creative entertainment outlet. It’s not just a new and exciting advancement, either. In fact, it’s a significant opportunity for brands to capitalize and refocus their advertising efforts by having their ads feature on some of the most profitable podcasts.

As we can see from current podcast statistics, we are just beginning to see how big the industry can become. For now, the sky’s the limit.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Branko is a round-the-clock tech geek and loving it. His ideal vacation destination is the Akihabara District (or really any place he can take his computer). If there’s a server out there, count on him to find out what it’s made of… and tell you all about it.

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